This I Believe
I believe in fate, I believe in luck, but more importantly I believe that the hard work put forth to surpass that uphill struggle, is the main reason for your glory. Many believe that they are born unlucky, that they were “chosen” from a superior power to fail in life. When in reality, if the full effort is not given towards the task at hand, you will not gain the glory you are hoping to find.
It takes almost a lifetime to realize what I came across in 18 years, but to tell you the truth, 18 years with out grasping this knowledge, was 18 years wasted. I found the importance of hard work during my senior year soccer season. I had spent the previous three years training with an amazing team, the kind of team that was unbeatable. This year however, was a bit different, and lets be honest, we were atrocious. We had lost nine starting seniors, and when in a sport there are eleven players on the field, nine quality players absence is far from the dream team. As if losing nine players was not enough of a loss, we also received a coaching change. From the start, our team knew things were going to be different and we were expecting the worst.
As the season went on, my picture perfect soccer season seemed to take a downhill plunge. The team hated the coach, the coach hated the players, and we were losing almost every game. The practices were simple, we played no soccer, but came very familiar with the track and the commonly used phrase “get on the line.” With a whistle in his mouth, and stop watch in his hand, our coach was far from what we were used to. We ran everyday until our legs grew numb, and just when we thought we were done, he had more running in store for us. Every practice was followed by team members gathering together discussing quitting and protesting the countless practices wasted on nothing but running. Our soccer team was known throughout the state as the cross country team and we were often ridiculed for our horrible season.
As the season went on we were in danger of not being able to compete in the state tournament. It was at this time that reality struck and we decided we would finish out the season not for the coach, not for the people who doubted us, but for each other. The state tournament came by and we were ranked one of the lowest seeds in the state. Making it past the first round against our rivals, the Desert Vista Thunder, did not seem like a possibility. We had played Desert Vista the pervious week and lost 5-0 and most of their players were looking past our game. The first whistle blew and the game was off! We battled through the game, gained more bruises then we could count and two overtimes later, we were victorious.
Our next game was the quarterfinals and with twenty minutes left, our struggling team was losing 2-0. Our constant enduring attitude came in handy and we finished the game with a 3-2 overtime victory. The next game was the semi-finals, and if we were able to make it out on top, we would need another overtime victory. Before we knew it, we were playing in the finals and our broken down team had a chance to become state champions. The game started off rough, we were losing 1-0 but in the second half, things took a turn for the better and we tied the game. The final whistle blew and we were forced to battle through three overtime periods. It was at this time our coach talked to our team and told us the benefits of running. He told us that we did not have the superstar team we had the previous years, but with all of the running we did we not only had the fittest team, but we had the greatest dedication on the field and formed a bond of strong character that could not be broken. All of the hard work and countless hours running paid off and three overtime periods later, we were not only just a soccer team, but the 2007-2008 State Soccer Champions.
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